Head coach Anthony Lynn isn’t pointing the finger at Melvin Gordon when it comes to explaining the sluggish results of the run game the last two weeks.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with Melvin Gordon,” Lynn said, via the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve got to open up more running lanes. . . . Everybody’s got to be accountable for the man in, and those runners they really don’t have a chance. So, we’ve got to do a better job up front.”
The Chargers averaged 103.5 rushing yards per game over the first four weeks without Gordon, but posted just 67 yards on the ground in their losses to the Broncos and Steelers the last two weeks with Gordon back in the fold. The team lost center Mike Pouncey and left tackle Russell Okung as well.
The holdout is ending. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon is, in fact, reporting to the team tomorrow. He won’t play this week, but he is planning to be back in the fold with his teammates.
Melvin Gordon won't play this week against the Dolphins, so Austin Ekeler remains a strong play and even Justin Jackson should have fantasy value. The team will likely ease Gordon back into the offense but he should return to his lead back role with Ekeler remaining a viable fantasy play with receiving work while Justin Jackson loses his fantasy value while both are healthy.
Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon’s holdout could soon be coming to an end, though no final decisions have made when to report, per league sources. He had planned to return at some point in October, but could soon be moving up his reporting date.
A Melvin Gordon return could happen sooner than we first thought. Austin Ekeler has proven to be more than capable in Gordon's absence, but he hasn't been used as a true early-down running back and Gordon would likely take back that work while Ekeler could stay heavily involved as a receiver, giving both plenty of fantasy relevancy.
Ian Rapoport reports that even if Gordon were to show up this week, he would not play against the Dolphins in Week 5, so your Ekeler and Jackson shares are safe against a weak Dolphins defense.
Melvin Gordon's holdout could last until late November, when the Los Angeles Chargers running back would have to report to make sure his contract does not toll for this year and he can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, sources told ESPN.
By rule, Gordon would have to show up 30 days prior to the end of the regular season for his contract not to toll, and that would mean he would return to the Chargers sometime before their Dec. 1 game in Denver against the Broncos. The story added the Chargers pulled their offer, but could change it and try to lure Gordon back sooner. If Gordon returns in November, he would play in the team's final five games, which would be in time for the fantasy playoff season.
For now, Ekeler appears to be the back to own, especially in PPR leagues, while Jackson is also expected to get time, likely early down work.
We're higher on Ekeler especially because of his pass-catching abilities. In our PPR rankings we put Ekeler 13th while Jackson is 35th. Look for Jackson to get some early down work with Ekeler at the very last playing in passing situations. But without Gordon, the story said the team will reply more on QB Rivers which potentially puts Ekeler in a much better spot.
Albert Breer of The MMQB reports the Eagles made an offer to the Chargers for RB Melvin Gordon, but the Chargers declined the proposal. Breer was digging around to find what Gordon's trade market value looks like and the only offer he found came from the Eagles. Breer reports the deal would have involved the Eagles receiving Gordon, the Chargers receiving RB Jordan Howard, the teams swapping mid-round picks and the Chargers eating salary.
There are two noteworthy items here. One is the Eagles kicking the tires on a possible trade for Gordon, as they are seemingly exploring every possible option they have to craft their roster. The other is how little action there actually is for Gordon on the trade market. And it's understandable. The Chargers have asked for a first-round pick for Gordon and teams are unlikely to part with a high pick only to have to shell out a new contract for Gordon, or risk him being a one-year rental. And with the amount of money Ezekiel Elliott is now receiving, the price for Gordon is only going to rise. In all likelihood, Gordon is either going to have to play out his current deal with the Chargers or continue to sit out.
As for the players on the field, Austin Ekeler is an absolute must-start in Week 1 against the Colts and Justin Jackson is going to be used at times as well. There shouldn't be any concerns about the Eagles' usage of Howard, even with this report. He will be used in both the running and passing game while Miles Sanders continues to get up to speed and work toward becoming the full-time back for the Eagles.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Chargers have granted permission to RB Melvin Gordon and his representation to seek a trade.
The report and article also state Gordon will weigh all of his options, including returning to the Chargers. The Chargers seem content to let Gordon gauge what his value in the trade market could be after not yet receiving the contract offer he was seeking from the Chargers. However, the Chargers seem to have the edge here. They are very comfortable rolling with Austin Ekeler (whose fantasy value has certainly risen in recent weeks) and Justin Jackson (who has some decent late-round value of his own). There doesn't seem to be an imminent end to this story, with just eight days before the Chargers take on the Colts in Week 1. We'll keep an eye on this story. But as of now, there is no question about firing up Ekeler in your lineups in Week 1, even if Gordon somehow comes back before then.